Crash Pads Help Skaters Learning New Jumps

This week I want to talk about crash pads for skaters. Pads can be very beneficial for skaters learning new jumps that require many repetitions and falls to master. I usually have my skaters get pads when they are learning their axel. If they’re falling a lot on another single jump, I might recommend crash pads earlier.

Since the axel jump is 1½ rotations in the air, it takes more time and practice to master than the previous jumps. Also, the longer the rotation, the more height and rotation speed required. This causes falls on jumps like the axel and above to have more force with the skater possibly getting a bruise or another injury.

Even if the falls aren’t that hard, just falling many times in a row can cause muscle soreness or bruising. Another advantage of pads is that they usually give the skater an extra boost of confidence that makes the jump easier because the skater isn’t as afraid of falling.

There are various crash pads for skaters, including pants you can buy with pads sewn in already. My favorite individual pads are made by Waxel Pad. They’re a foam material that’s available in ½-inch, ¾-inch or 1-inch thickness. Waxel Pads have small, medium, and large sizes available, but the medium size in a ½-inch or ¾-inch thickness works best for most skaters. You can buy the hip or butt pads separately, although I recommend just getting the set of three with both hip pads and the butt pad.

Happy skating! 🙂

January 22, 2012

Skating to the Music

Musicality is a challenging yet important part of skating. You often see skaters running a program by going through the various jumps and spins with great focus but completely ignoring their music.

Skaters need to develop the skill of skating to their music. When you watch the top performers in skating, you see how they bring the crowd into their music.

To work on musicality, skaters can practice their routine without any jumps so they can focus strictly on the music and presentation. Also, developing a habit of listening for certain points in the music for an arm move or step can make a definite improvement in presentation.

Here is a video of 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist Yuna Kim performing in South Korea last spring. Watch how she gets the crowd excited through her musicality and presentation.

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September 10, 2011

Keeping Warm on the Ice during Everyday Practice

Christina and Mark dressed for ice-dance practice at a cold rink in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Christina and Mark dressed for ice-dance practice at a cold rink in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Ice rinks are cold places! That’s obvious. What’s not as obvious is how to stay warm while practicing at the ice rink.

Here are 5 tips to help skaters keep warm during everyday practice:

Read the entire article:

April 21, 2011

Beautiful Spin Positions

This week, I have videos for you of some of the great female skaters performing beautiful spin positions. Watch how they perform different variations of the same basic spin.

Here is the 2010 Ladies Olympic Gold Medalist, Yuna Kim. Notice her great control of positions.

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Here is the 2006 Ladies Olympic Silver Medalist, Sasha Cohen. Notice the excellent arch in her back.

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This is a fun example of the fastest spin in the world!
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April 16, 2011

Skating Etiquette

FS Traffic Flow

This week I’m sharing an article about skating etiquette. The article is written for coaches, but I think the information can apply to skaters as well. One thing I don’t agree with in the article is that the coach shouldn’t follow skaters in their programs. I think it can be useful to chase students to motivate them to skate faster and more aggressively.

At the Kroc center where I coach, the most important thing is for the skaters to give right of way to the skater who is in his or her program. Remember that the order in the music line is two coaches and then one skater. Also, try to be aware of the other skaters on the ice, especially when skating away from the boards. As in crossing a street, look both ways first.

Here’s The Forgotten Art of Skating Etiquette from Jimmie Santee at Over the Edge.

March 26, 2011